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CLASS OF 1995

 

ALLEN DOYLE

Allen M. Doyle was born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island and raised in the Boston, Massachusetts. He made his way south to Georgia where he became an outstanding amateur golfer. Doyle won the Georgia Amateur six times and the Georgia Mid-Amateur five times. He was Georgia Player of the Year nine times. Despite winning numerous amateur titles, he did not turn professional until he was 46 years old. In 1995, his first full professional season, he won three times on the Nike Tour. From 1996 to 1998 Doyle competed in 58 PGA Tour events, making the cut in 31, including two top-10 finishes. Doyle became eligible to play on the Senior PGA Tour when he turned 50 in July 1998 and won four official money events in 1999, including the Senior PGA Championship. In 2001 he won his second senior major, the Senior Players Championship, and led the tour on the money list. In 2005 he claimed a third major at the U.S. Senior Open. He had a total of 19 professional wins, and was a member of three Walker Cup teams. He is a member of the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame.

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VERA FLOCK

Vera “Punkin” Flock was born and raised in Stonewall and went on to win 20 Major Championships at Grand American Trapshooting Association Tournaments. Flock was the winner of 11 Southern Zone ATA championships. She won 15 Florida State Women's Championships, including the Open Singles title while competing against men. A pioneer in the sport of shooting for women, she was the women’s average leader nine times and All Around Average winner seven times. Flock was only the second woman in history to fire at more than 100,000 single targets. She was inducted into the Amateur Trapshooting Association Hall of Fame in 1978.

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RUFUS GUTHRIE

Rufus Guthrie grew up in Smyrna then moved to Chattanooga where he was an outstanding high school athlete at the Baylor School. He was a varsity baseball letterman and an honorable mention selection to the All-Mid-South baseball team in 1957. He played college football at Georgia Tech where he was a letterman from 1960 to 1962. He was a two-time All-SEC performer at guard for the Yellow Jackets and was an All-American in 1962. He was a first round draft pick in the 1963 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams and the first round of the AFL draft by the San Diego Chargers. He signed with the Chargers, but was injured in his first exhibition game. Guthrie returned to Atlanta to begin a successful career in real estate. He is a member of the Georgia Tech Hall of Fame.

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MORTON HODGSON

Morton Hodgson grew up in Athens and was one of the University of Georgia’s greatest all-around athletes in the early part of the 20th Century. Hodgson was UGA’s first four-sport letterman (football, basketball, track, and baseball). He made the first interception in UGA history against Auburn in 1906. An outstanding tennis player also, Hodgson won the 1909 University Fall Tennis Tournament. He was a member of the 1907 baseball team that won the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship in 1907. He is said to be the only UGA letterman in history to have a son and two grandson’s letter in football at the school. 

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RAY KNIGHT

Charles (Ray) Knight grew up in Albany and was star athlete at Dougherty High School. He was selected in the 10th round of the 1970 Major League Baseball draft by the Cincinnati Reds. He made his major league debut in 1974 and remained with the Reds organization until 1981. He also played with the Houston Astros, New York Mets, Baltimore Orioles, and Detroit Tigers during a Major League career that lasted until 1988. He is best remembered to Reds fans as the man who replaced Pete Rose at third base, whereas Mets fans remember Knight as the man who scored the winning run of game six of the 1986 World Series and as the MVP of that series. Knight was a two-time MLB All-Star (1980 & 1982). He served two stints as the Reds’ manager and enjoyed a successful broadcasting career after his playing days were over.

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EARNEST "BAGGY" MALLARD

Ernest “Baggy” Mallard of Macon was named Lanier High School’s best all-around athlete in 1926. He helped lead the Poets to the GIAA State championship in basketball that season averaging 17 points per game. He lettered in football, basketball, baseball and track at Lanier and then moved on to local Mercer University. Mallard was named to Mercer’s All time football team. He also led Mercer basketball team in scoring three straight years. Plus, he hit .347 in baseball.  “Baggy” coached the Mercer freshman football team in 1931, but decided to pursue a pro baseball career later that year. He played until 1933 for Johnstown, Tennessee in the Mid-Atlantic League and played basketball for the Georgia Crackers. He is a member of the Mercer Athletic Hall of Fame.

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BILL MATHIS

William H. (Bill) Mathis was born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina and was a high school football star at Manchester High School. He went on to be an outstanding running back at Clemson-ACC Back of the Year, Tigers MVP, participant in the Sugar and Bluebonnet bowls, Blue-Gray Game and Senior Bowl. His rights were held in the 1960 AFL Draft by Denver and the '60 NFL Draft by San Francisco (both drafts were held in November 1959) and then by Houston until the Oilers traded him to the New York Titans before the first weekend of American Football League games. He was a member of the inaugural Titans’ team, and he played his entire career with the AFL’s New York Franchise. He is one of only four Titans that were still with the team when the Jets won Super Bowl III after the 1969 season. Mathis was not only an excellent runner, but also an outstanding blocker and pass receiver. He was an All-AFL selection in 1961 and an Eastern Division AFL All-Star in 1961 and 1963.

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DAN PITTS

Dan Pitts was a native of Lincoln County where he was a star quarterback at Lincolnton High School. After graduating from the University of Georgia and a stint in the Army, Pitts accepted an offer to become the head football coach at Mary Persons High School in Forsyth in 1959 at the age of 27. It was his first and last job as a head football coach. Over the next 39 years, he led the Bulldogs to a state championship (1980), 15 region championships, and four South Georgia championships. His teams were state runners-up in 1982, 1984, and 1993. He had 29 straight winning seasons and posted a career record of 325-105-4. A master at preparation, he never missed a football practice during his entire coaching career. Pitts is a true coaching legend who is considered one of the greatest high school football coaches in the history of the state of Georgia.

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RANKIN SMITH

Rankin Smith was born in Atlanta and attended North Fulton High School. He graduated from the University of Georgia and began a career with Life Insurance Company of Georgia. He ascended to the position of president and chairman of the board and retired in 1978. While working at the Life Insurance Company of Georgia, Smith put together the deal to buy the Atlanta Falcons when the NFL expanded to Atlanta in 1966. He also secured the arrangement between the team and Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, where the Falcons would play their home games for 26 years. Smith managed day-to-day operations for the Falcons until 1990. Smith was instrumental in building the Georgia Dome and bringing the 1994 Super Bowl to Atlanta. He was active in many civic and philanthropic causes in the Atlanta area for many years.  In 1985 Smith founded the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation. It provides grants to non-profit organizations across Georgia, focusing on programs which benefit children. Smith was one of the most important sports personalities in Georgia History.

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ROYCE SMITH

Royce Smith grew up in Savannah and played football at Groves High School before moving to Athens and the University of Georgia where he was a three-year letterman. He was an outstanding offensive lineman and team captain his senior year in 1971. He was All-SEC in 1970 and 1971 and a first team All-American in 1971. He won the Jacobs Award for the outstanding blocker in the SEC in 1971. He is considered to be one of the best UGA offensive linemen of his era. He was drafted by the New Orleans Saints as the 8th pick in the first round of the 1972 NFL Draft. He played a total of five seasons in the NFL with Saints, and later with the Atlanta Falcons.